Google looks to invest $1 billion in AOL: reports

MUMBAI: Giving Microsoft the brush aside, Time Warner is reportedly in talks with Google, wherein the latter is looking at investing $1 billion for a five per cent stake in America Online (AOL).

However according to media reports, the Time Warner board still has to stamp its approval on the deal for it to come through. The board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday. The five-year deal would expand the two companies' partnership into 2011.

The five per cent stake would be part of a wide ranging advertising partnership between AOL and Google. Google is looking at highlighting AOL's web properties as highlighted links while AOL continues to offer Google's search links to its users. Google also hired AOL to sell non-search ads to Google's advertising partners.

According to a media report, Google will continue to take 20 per cent of the revenue generated when people click on the text ads in AOL Search, and AOL will take 20 per cent of the revenue from banners and other display ads it sells on the Google network.

AOL is Google's largest customer, accounting for $420 million or 10 per cent in Google ad sales, during the first three quarters of 2005.

Under the proposed new deal, AOL will be able to sell search ads, plugging a gap in its offerings to advertisers. In addition, AOL will sell display ads on both the AOL and Google internet properties. The deal also includes the promotion of AOL content through Google's paid search.

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